Do you use gel masque? Are you curious to know how they are made? Here’s a beautiful recipe of a pomegranate gel masque made by skilled formulator Caroline Guitton. Masques are a huge trend these last few years. There are so many types on the market these days which are a big change from the traditional clay masques, from sheet masks (big korean beauty trend) cream masques, superfood masques, gel-to –milk masques, and so on. It is a great way to give your skin an instant boost, a deep clean, or treat specific skin issues such as acne or blackheads.
What is a Gel Masque?
Gel masques are masques which feel cool and light on the skin, as they can be kept in the fridge and then used on skin. They have a gelatinous type consistency and give a ‘tightening’ feeling on the skin, you almost feel that your skin is being temporarily lifted or tightened. A gel can be left on the face overnight if you don’t mind the tightening feel, or it can be rinsed off after a few minutes, so it can be a rinse off or leave on product accordingly.
Of course you can make clear transparent gels, but I love playing with colorful natural botanicals, so I make many colorful gels with various ingredients like golden turmeric or purple potato, colored glycerites, fruit powder extracts, even colored oils can be incorporated at small percentages. The possibilities are endless so get artistic and creative and show us what you come up with !!! Just remember that many water soluble plant extracts are not very stable and beautiful pinks and blues can fade quite quickly , even when correctly formulated and stored. Making these types of natural products should be done in small batches.
Here is a red colored exfoliating masque which I came up with and really love, it has anti-aging and hydrating benefits due to the beautiful extracts and aloe vera gel, and regenerates dull tone with pantheol or vitamin B.
|B||Hydrolates Raspberry and chamomile||76||18.25|
|B||Aloe vera gel||10||2.5|
|C||Fleur de cerisier extract||2||.5|
|C||Pomegranate co2 extract||.5||.125|
|D||Gromwell root extract (colorant)||.5||.125|
|E||Aroma Extrait Pomegranate||1||.25|
|E||Preservative sorbate and benzoate||1||.25|
Method of manufacture
After weighing the glycerites and gums, mix them together in a small glass beaker until very smooth. Let sit 15-20minutes until this mixture thickens. xanthan can be used at 2% alone if that’s the only gum you can find, but you will need to experiment to get the perfect gel texture. I find mixing 2 or even 3 gums together gives a much lovelier texture then xanthan alone.
Now slowly trickle in the water, stirring well after each addition. Add aloe gel slowly and stir well until everything is well blended. Other hydrosols can be used to replace these ones, such as rose, orange, green tea… or any other favorite.
A homogenizer type blender will help blend everything together much more effectively when using gums, hand blending will not have the same effect. The gums incorporate much more completely. If you do not have a homogenizer, let the gum and water mixture sit for a few hours or overnight to thicken. Make your mixture a bit runnier then you want it to be at the end result, and adjust accordingly by adding a bit more water later if it is too thick. Then stir very well. Experimenting and trial and error is needed to get the exact texture you like. Gums are tricky !!!
Add all the extracts, one by one, stirring well after each is added.
Add gromwell root extract to get the red color drop by drop until you get the tone you are happy with.
Stir well. There is only a small % of oil here, which the water soluble gel can handle without separation. If you incorporate more oil, you would need to use a solubilizer to prevent separation. A few drops is enough to get a beautiful red.
Add the preservative. Check the pH of the product to ensure it is within the compatible range for your chosen preservative. This range is normally indicated by the supplier of the preservative. If your pH isn’t in a suitable range, you can lower it by adding an acid or raise it by adding sodium hydroxide or sodium bicarbonate mixed in distilled water. Add drop by drop till the right ph is obtained.
Transfer it into a jar and label. To protect the color use a dark colored or opaque container.
Store in fridge to give added cooling effect if you like. This masque makes skin feel super soft , nourished and regenerated after, and skin tone is bright and fresh looking as the exfoliating effects of AHA acids help with exfoliation.
I found these dried pomegranate flowers while in the spice market of Istanbul. They are the red , large hard flowers and just caught my eye because I’d never seen anything like them before. I figured they couldn’t hurt in cosmetic formulas considering how amazing pomegranates are for skin. Most pomegranate fruit parts—its juice, peel, oil, seed, flowers, bark, roots—are known to possess enormous antioxidant activity (amongst other things), with benefits especially for the skin.
A few tiny pieces will turn an infusion bright pink, but the color quickly fades. I macerated the dried flowers here in glycerine and got a beautiful light pink glycerite which I used here.
It has high antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti viral properties, and is used for skin, hair, anti aging and anti wrinkle purposes. It can also help dry skin. It could be a nice addition in a scrub, as pomegranate gives radiant, glowing skin.
The flowers are a source of phenolic antioxidants, phytosterols and terpenoids, and are highly concentrated in flavonoids and carotenoids. They restore the stratum corneum and reinforce the skin barrier. It is nourishing and moisturizing, protecting aging skin.
Fleur de cerisier
The nutrients of flowers of the cherry tree are extracted here in glycerine. They are interesting for cosmetic use as they are rich in flavonoids and tannins, made up of anti oxidants and protective nutrients for dry and aging skin. It helps regenerate, and is an anti-glycation agent which helps promote collagen formation in the fibroblasts. They contain vegetal sugars which give them softening and hydrating properties… Rich in essential fatty acids, it repairs the skins natural barriers to promote a smooth, supple skin. It has anti-inflammatory properties and can also help to lighten uneven pigmentation, due to sun exposure, by inhibiting the production of melanin. It cleanses the skin of toxins to leave a brightened, healthy skin.
Alpha hydroxy acids are a group of natural acids found in foods. They include citric acid (found in citrus fruits), glycolic acid (found in sugar cane), lactic acid (found in sour milk and tomato juice), malic acid (found in apples), tartaric acid (found in grapes), and others.
Alpha hydroxy acids are most commonly used for dry or wrinkled skin, or even acne. They work by removing the top layers of dead skin cells, giving an exfoliating effect and making the skin look refreshed and less dull after use, lightening skin tone and clearing up pigmentation spots and skin irregularities. They can also increase the thickness of deeper layers of skin, promoting firmness. Be very careful to not exceed recommended dosage as too much can have strong almost peeling like effects and can cause burning and redness on sensitive skin, which is why I only put 1% here. I recommend testing final product on a small patch of skin before using if you have sensitive skin.
Chamomile is a plant which has soothing and powerful anti inflammatory benefits for the skin. It reduces inflammation, minimizes redness and decreases swelling so I added it here to balance the effects of the AHA acids, which can be harsh on skin as they have strong exfoliating effects and can cause redness and some irritation… You can use it for acne inflammation, eczema, psoriasis, rashes and more. It is good for dry or sensitive skin.
Raspberry is a rich source of sugars, vitamin C, and minerals. Raspberry floral water is used mainly for moisturizing, anti-aging and skin smoothing properties.. It also helps to tone and balance the skin. Red raspberry leaf is naturally astringent, which when incorporated into skin care, will help tone and tighten the skin. It contains tanins which help to stimulate skin cell regeneration. This leaf is also packed with flavonoids and elagic acid which are both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. This hydrosol is recommended for mature or aging skin.
About the author
Caroline Guitton, Skincare Formulator
Formulating natural and organic skincare has become a huge passion and part of my life , starting as my 3 kids are growing and flying off, giving me time to develop a hobby which started off by a fluke!! While traveling in Israel, a friend gave me some basic ingredients like coconut & shea butter, to make my own creams, and I naively thought why not, sounds like fun! She convinced me it’s safer and more beneficial than store bought cosmetics. Little did I know what I was getting into, the world of formulation, botanical research, bits of chemistry, green beauty, creating my own skincare for me and my family, well…..no regrets and loving every natural bit of this exciting and fascinating journey! My name is Caroline Chaya Guitton, and I have been living in Bordeaux for the last 20 years, busy being wife & mother, a professional mosaic artist for the last 15 years, an aromatherapy massage therapist, with a few other hobbies squeezed in between. I love to travel and hunt down botanicals from all over the world, local markets and bazaars, that keeps me sane!! I am originally from Toronto, Canada. I met my husband while traveling in Singapore, and ended up staying in that super modern paradise for 7 years, where we had our first 2 children. Blogger seems to be the next adventure on the list !!!